Senators: Put cameras on train tracks, engineers

NEW YORK — A week after four people died in a New York commuter train derailment, two federal lawmakers proposed Sunday that trains nationwide be outfitted with cameras pointed at engineers and at the tracks.

"I know you're going to hear from Metro-North that there are costs, but the costs of these audio and visual recorders is minuscule — in fact, negligible — compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars that this tragic incident will cost Metro-North in the end," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who joined New York Sen. Charles Schumer for a news conference at Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal.

On Dec. 1, a Metro-North Railroad train approached a curve on the tracks just north of Manhattan going at 82 mph instead of the speed limit of 30 mph. Rail cars careened off the tracks, with the front car ending up inches from the water where the Hudson River meets the Harlem River.

A lawyer and a union leader for the derailed train's engineer, William Rockefeller, have said the train's hypnotic motion may have caused him to experience a "nod" or a "daze" at the controls.

The Democratic lawmakers are urging the Federal Railroad Administration to demand the implementation of a measure they say might prevent the kind of deadly Metro-North derailment that also left dozens injured.

"Get on board and implement these recommendations now," Schumer said, directing his comments to the Federal Railroad Administration, which has the power to demand the changes.

Senators: Put cameras on train tracks, engineers 12/08/13 [Last modified: Sunday, December 8, 2013 10:52pm]

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